Happy Banned Books Week 2017

Banned Books Week is celebrated the last week in September.

Banned Book Week BookcartFrom ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, here are the top Banned Books of 20116.

Banned Book Week LIbrary Display

Top Ten for 2016

Out of 323 challenges recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
    Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, drug use and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes
  2. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons: challenged because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint
  3. George written by Alex Gino
    Reasons: challenged because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels”
  4. I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    Reasons: challenged because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints
  5. Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan
    Reasons: challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content
  6. Looking for Alaska written by John Green
    Reasons: challenged for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation”
  7. Big Hard Sex Criminals written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
    Reason: challenged because it was considered sexually explicit
  8. Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread written by Chuck Palahniuk
    Reasons: challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive”
  9. Little Bill (series) written by Bill Cosby and and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood
    Reason: challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author
  10. Eleanor & Park written by Rainbow Rowell
    Reason: challenged for offensive language

Other Banned Books have included the Bible, Beloved, the Great Gatsby, Cather in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, Lord of the Rings, 1984, and Call of the Wild.

Banned Books Rebel Reader Twitter TournamentHave you ever read a banned book?  Did you read it because it was banned or because you liked it or were assigned it to read in school?   Would you take part in a public reading of banned books?  Has your library ever held such a program?  Join in the conversation and share your views on Banned Book Week.  ALA has a Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament.

Banned Book Celebrations can take place in Real Life or in the virtual world of Second Life.

Banned Book Week in Second Life



4 thoughts on “Happy Banned Books Week 2017”

  1. We held a banned books promotion earlier this year to tie in with a live reading of 1984 that took place in London supported by the Orwell Foundation. I’ve read some banned books, not because they were banned, usually because they were considered classics. It’s sad to see that books are still being banned today and it’s interesting that so many have been challenged because of LGBT content.


  2. Very true. One person’s banned book is another person’s personal favorite. The saying that “Sacred Cows make the best hamburgers” makes me wonder if Banned Books make the most interesting Reading. Used to be that if something was banned in Boston, it was considered to have very scintillating content. The number of people who only read Playboy for the articles was probably far less than those who actually did so.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gotta love the US system of challenging books. It gives everyone a chance to have their say without actually having a big effect. I believe that only the most extreme publications are now totally prohibited. Certainly that’s the case in the US and Ireland, and you’d wonder what sort of person would want to write or read them.

    Ireland is fascinating as a case study. At one time more than 12,000 publications were totally banned. Now only those promoting criminality wouldn’t be allowed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am not aware of any books banned at the national level unless it were a case of trademark or copyright infringement. Most of our books are banned by local school or public libraries. In the South, we have an area called the Bible Belt, where many of the citizens are conservative and religious. Many (but certainly not all) of our banned books may come from this part of the country. Triggers points seem to be almost anything LBGTQ, sex, foul language, or age group inappropriate (what might be fine for the high school would not be fine for the elementary school). Thanks for taking the time to share.


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